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“Discover The 37 Foods that KILL up to 11 Pounds of Belly Fat, Excess Water, and ‘Toxic Waste’ In Just 7 Days… Including Forbidden Foods Like Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and BBQ!”.Formerly Obese “Diet Guru” Reveals the Deadly Foods that CAUSE Belly Bulge and the 37 Foods that KILL It… Make These Simple Swaps to Your Meals and Finally BLAST Away ALL of Your Unattractive Belly Fat FOREVER… Who Would Have Thought That Eating MORE Would Flatten Your Belly?! Source by imtutucrazy

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Weight Loss 

New Study Reveals Coconut Oil Is Far Better Than Your Toothpaste

New Study Reveals Coconut Oil Is Far Better Than Your Toothpaste Source by oreo1nala2

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This Was the Top-Searched Diet of 2016 (and Chances Are You've Never Heard of It)

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Have you heard of the GOLO diet? To be frank — none of us at POPSUGAR Fitness had heard this term until Google shared their top diet searches for 2016 . . . and “GOLO Diet” was at the top of said list. We had a collective “wait, what?” moment, before frantically researching to see what this was about.

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First stop: find the experts (aka, chat with our dietitian friends). They must know something about it, right? Well, RD and MPH Lisa Eberly had “No idea . . . I work with 70 RDs who chit chat all day long about new diets and research, and I’ve never heard it come up.” Interesting. We found that “insulin resistance” was a term that came up often with “GOLO diet,” so we asked Lori Zanini, RD and certified diabetes expert. “Honestly, I have never heard of it until right now . . . I have never had any clients that have tried it.” Lori also mentioned she was with another RD when we called her, who had also never heard of the GOLO diet. WHAT IS GOING ON?

So we opted for our own internet research. We were off to a suspicious start, but wanted to give this the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s really helping people! After all, enough people searched this diet to make it the #1 search on Google in 2016 . . .

Here’s what we know:

What Is the GOLO Diet?

According to GOLO.com, a “scientific breakthrough reveals the real cause of weight loss and how to reverse it.” Sounds promising! The cause in question? Insulin, said Jen Books, GOLO’s VP of marketing. “GOLO was developed by a team of doctors and pharmacists over the course of five years,” Brooks told POPSUGAR, via email. “Their research led them to develop a natural solution for weight gain based on managing insulin, the main hormone that controls weight loss, weight gain, metabolism.”

Brief overview: no counting calories, just managing insulin. They say this is the key to sustainable weight loss and maintenance.

The diet was created by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow — who has a specialty in anxiety and depression — and a team of (unnamed) doctors and pharmacists, according to the website. The site describes the diet as a “natural, healthy solution that specifically targets weight gain.” Dr. Albow is a New York Times best-selling author, so that offers some promise as to the legitimacy of the program.

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But . . . what is it? From what we’ve gathered, it’s a diet intended to optimize your insulin levels — the program is entirely rooted in insulin regulation as a means of weight loss. You start a “30 Day Rescue Plan” for $39.95, which includes literature and a GOLO supplement intended to kickstart your program for “adopting the GOLO lifestyle.”

How Does it Work?

Here’s how they describe it: “GOLO works to optimize your body’s insulin levels, keeping them steady all day so you burn fat, maintain energy, and eliminate the crashes that cause hunger and cravings.” The site also reports an average weight loss of 48.6 pounds in a year. So is it a matter of just monitoring your blood sugar levels and eating foods that have a low glycemic index?

“Its effects almost entirely depend on your genetics — So if you don’t know your DNA it’s a crap shoot.”

There are three “tiers” to the program: “Intervention” (plant-based supplements), Meal Plan (“Metabolic Fuel Matrix”), and “GOLO For Life (Roadmap).”

The plant-based supplements contain magnesium oxide, zinc oxide, chromium, and a proprietary blend of roots and fruit extracts. GOLO’s site calls it “a weight-loss supplement that actually works.” Could the promise of a “diet pill” actually be real? It’s hard for us to tell. Consumerscompare.org noted that they also have not been able to find customers outside of company-controlled websites to ask. Brooks told us that the “Release” supplement helps to “optimize insulin performance” and “provide metabolic support.”

Our registered dietitian Lisa saw the ingredients list and told us “it’s like a low-key laxative.” She noted that this is effective for those with diabetes, or prediabetes. “Magnesium can have effects on insulin resistance, but only in people who actually have prediabetes or diabetes. The only major effects in people with healthy insulin are diarrhea and potentially a calming and relaxing effect. It can lower blood pressure in certain circumstances, too. Its effects almost entirely depend on your genetics — So if you don’t know your DNA it’s a crap shoot.”

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As for the meal plan, the site guarantees results, saying “You will see amazing results in the first seven days and realize that there is a smarter, healthier solution.” It’s described as “the right combination of proteins, carbohydrates, vegetables, and fat to promote weight loss.” We haven’t seen any recipes to verify this, but from from what we’ve seen on Pinterest, they seem to be in line with the low-glycemic index diets — something that Harvard has actually verified as an effective way to lose weight. The site itself refers to the recipes as simple, with insulin-friendly foods. “Meals are based on our patented Fuel index which measures the metabolic effect of food so they are balanced to have the exact amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates that maximize energy without spiking insulin or storing fat,” said Brooks.

The “Roadmap” is a “FREE membership” to myGOLO. GOLO guarantees that “Whether you need motivation to get fit, guidance on changing eating habits, want to take charge of your health, or need to reduce stress or overcome emotional eating, we give you the tools to help you reach your goals.”

In Sum

A diet that says you can eat bread, pasta, and butter — with no calorie counting — and a pill that boosts weight loss sounds very enticing. Especially one that was created by a doctor, that guarantees results within the first seven days.

The thing is, we just can’t find anyone who has tried this — or even knows what it is. We found a few YouTube user reviews on their personal success with the program, yet still, we can’t find enough substantial information outside the company’s own website to give you the real go-ahead.

If you’ve got an extra 40 bucks a month to experiment, it doesn’t seem like there are any adverse side-effects to this program.

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Most Americans Think Burgers Are Healthy

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A new survey reveals that 82% of Americans who eat hamburgers think that the sandwich is a good source of nutrients.

Researchers with the market research group Mintel polled 1,767 Americans who had ordered a burger from a restaurant in the last three months. 62% of the people said they love burgers—and the numbers were strong even among Millennials, the generation most likely to say that menu healthiness is important to them when they choose a restaurant. Americans’ obsession with burgers isn’t surprising, but the sandwich’s perceived healthiness is, given the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that processed meat is a carcinogen and red meat likely causes cancer.

While burgers are good sources of protein, iron and vitamin B12, they come with a lot of problems, according to nutrition experts—particularly the fatty meat, sugary ketchup and refined grain buns.

The new survey did find that even burger lovers know they could choose a healthier sandwich. People want more chicken and turkey burgers, the survey found, which are considered healthier options.

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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5 Times Ronda Rousey Got Real About Her Body

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It’s been a big week for Ronda Rousey. On Sunday the MMA fighter was crowned one of three cover models for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issueand became the first athlete ever to be featured on the cover. Then on Monday, she appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show and bravely revealed that she experienced suicidal thoughts after her shocking UFC title loss to Holly Holm last fall. “I was sitting in the corner and I was like, What am I anymore if I’m not this?” she explained in the emotional interview.

Opening up about such a heartbreaking experience couldn’t have been easy. But Rousey’s honesty is just one of the many reasons we love her. Not only is she an incredible athlete, she’s also a feminist icon and an outspoken advocate for body positivity. Here, five of the quotes that have earned her legions of fans, and made her the role model we always wanted.

RELATED: The 10 Best Quotes from Ronda Rousey’s “Ask Me Anything” Reddit Interview

On why she wanted to model for SI

“[Sports Illustrated] has given me so much opportunity,” she said in a behind-the-scenes video at her SI cover shoot. “[They] set a precedent for what society expects out of women’s bodies, and they’re really setting a really healthy and positive standard for all women.” This isn’t the first time that Rousey has modeled for the Swimsuit Issue. In a similar behind-the-scenes video last year, she spoke about the importance of featuring women with diverse body types in the media. “I was so happy to have this opportunity because I really do believe that there shouldn’t be one cookie-cutter body type that everyone is aspiring to be,” she said. “I hope the impression that everyone sees in the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is that strong and healthy is the new sexy. And that the standard of women’s bodies is going into a realistic and socially healthy direction.”

On her ideal weight

After the 2015 Swimsuit Issue hit newsstands, Rousey told Cosmopolitan.com that she chose to gain weight before she stripped down for the photo shoot“I felt like I was much too small for a magazine that is supposed to be celebrating the epitome of a woman,” she said. “I wanted to be at my most feminine shape, and I don’t feel my most attractive at 135 pounds, which is the weight I fight at. At 150 pounds, I feel like I’m at my healthiest and my strongest and my most beautiful.”

RELATED: 5 Times Ronda Rousey Seriously Inspired Us

On being called “masculine”

Last August Rousey won the UFC 190 against previously undefeated fighter Bethe CorreiaIn a video promoting that fight, Rousey responded to body-shaming critics“Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than f—ing millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine. I think it’s femininely badass as f— because there’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose.”

On accepting her body

Despite her natural toughness, Rousey isn’t immune to body image issues. “I absolutely loathed how I looked until I was around 22 years old,” she said in an interview with ESPN.com last year. “What changed for me is I was always thinking I wanted to make my body look a certain way so I would be happy. But when I made myself happy first, then the body came after. It was a journey of self-discovery and trial and error.”

Rejecting the idea of a one-size-fits-all body type helped Rousey find self-acceptance: “The image in my head was the Maxim cover girl,” she said. “In the end, instead of making my body resemble one of those chicks, I decided to try to change the idea of what a Maxim chick could look like.”

RELATED: The 10 Best Body-Positive Quotes from Female Athletes Who Posed Nude for ESPN

On developing a healthy relationship with food

In an Ask Me Anything on Reddit last year, the fighter mentioned her complicated history with food. “It feels very liberating to [be] free of the guilt that used to come with every meal,” she wrote. “I feel like I have so much extra space in my brain now that I’m not constantly thinking about the next meal and trying to eat as much as possible every day while still losing weight. I feel amazing. I (think) I look amazing. And I just ate some bomb-ass french toast this morning.”

Not long after, Rousey elaborated on her struggles with disordered eating in an interview with Elle.com. Participating in judo tournaments led her to develop an “unhealthy relationship with food” in her teenage years, she explained. She had to hit a certain number on the scale to compete. “I felt like if I wasn’t exactly on weight, I wasn’t good-looking,” she said. “It was a lot to get past, and now I can say that I’ve gotten through it, I’ve never been happier with how I look [or] more satisfied with my body. It was definitely a journey to get there.”

Rousey added that she hopes she can encourage others struggling with similar issues to seek help. “These are issues that I think every girl deals with growing up, and it’s something that’s largely ignored and unaddressed. I would like that to be different for girls growing up after me. It shouldn’t have been as hard as it was.”

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Your Phone Is Covered in Molecules That Reveal Personal Lifestyle Secrets

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There are many ways your phone can provide glimpses into your personality: Your choice of apps, your music and photos, even the brand of smartphone you buy, to name a few. But new research reveals another surprising piece to the what-your-cell-says-about-you puzzle. Turns out analyzing the molecules, chemicals, and microbes left behind on a mobile device can tell a lot about its owner—including the person's diet, health status, probable gender, and more.    

The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that this type of profiling could one day be useful for clinical trials, medical monitoring, airport screenings, and criminal investigations. It also serves as a reminder of the lasting chemical residues of the foods we eat, the cosmetics we wear, and the places we visit. In some cases, researchers could pinpoint ingredients from personal-care products that the owner of the phone hadn’t used in six months!

"You can imagine a scenario where a crime-scene investigator comes across a personal object—like a phone, pen, or key—without fingerprints or DNA, or with prints or DNA not found in the database," said senior author Pieter Dorrestein, PhD, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in a press release. "So we thought—what if we take advantage of left-behind skin chemistry to tell us what kind of lifestyle this person has?"

RELATED: A Smart Guide to Scary Chemicals

Dorrestein’s previous research has shown that molecules analyzed from skin swabs tend to contain traces of hygiene and beauty products, even when people haven’t applied them for a few days. "All of these chemical traces on our bodies can transfer to objects," Dorrestein said. "So we realized we could probably come up with a profile of a person's lifestyle based on chemistries we can detect on objects they frequently use."

For their new study, Dorrestein and his colleagues swabbed four spots on the cell phones of 39 volunteers, and used a technique called mass spectrometry to detect molecules from those samples. Then, they compared those molecules with ones indexed in a large, crowd-sourced reference database run by UCSD.

With this information, the researchers developed a personalized lifestyle "read-out" from each phone. They were able to determine certain medications that the volunteers took—including anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal skin creams, hair loss treatments, antidepressants, and eye drops. They could identify food that had recently been eaten, such as citrus, caffeine, herbs, and spices. And they detected chemicals, like those found in sunscreen and bug spray, months after they’d last been used by the phones’ owners.

RELATED: 6 Ways Your Mobile Devices Are Hurting Your Body

"By analyzing the molecules they've left behind on their phones, we could tell if a person is likely female, uses high-end cosmetics, dyes her hair, drinks coffee, prefers beer over wine, likes spicy food, is being treated for depression, wears sunscreen and bug spray—and therefore likely spends a lot of time outdoors—all kinds of things," said first author Amina Bouslimani, PhD, an assistant project scientist in Dorrestein's lab. In fact, the researchers were able to correctly predict that one study participant was a camper or backpacker because of residue from DEET and sunscreen ingredients on her phone.

This was a proof-of-concept study, meaning that it only showed that the technology exists—not that it's ready for market. To develop even more precise profiles, and to be useful in the real world, the researchers say more molecules are needed in the reference database. They hope it will grow to include more common items including foods, clothing materials, carpets, and paints, for example.

Dorrestein and Bouslimani are conducting further studies with an additional 80 people and samples from other personal objects, such as wallets and keys. They hope that eventually, molecular profiles will be useful in medical and environmental settings.

Doctors might employ this technique to determine whether a patient really is taking his or her medication, for example. Or scientists could use it to determine people’s exposure to toxins in high-risk workplaces or neighborhoods near potential pollution sources. And, of course, molecular profiling could help criminal investigators by narrowing down the potential owners of objects, or understanding people’s habits based on items they touch, they wrote in their paper.

RELATED: These Personality Traits Are Linked to a Healthier Sex Life

As creepy as all this may sound, personality-specific microbes likely aren't the most alarming things hiding on your cell phone. Other research shows that our tech devices are popular spots for germs like the flu virus and antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Unless you plan to rob a bank and leave your phone behind as evidence, germs are probably your biggest threat at the moment. To keep buildup to a minimum, and harmful bugs at bay, try to remember to clean your screen and case regularly with a disinfectant wipe.

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Natural Cures That Really Work

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Will placing a tea bag on a cold sore make it disappear? Can you ease hot flashes with herbs? And does putting yogurt on your nether parts have a prayer of curing a yeast infection? It used to be that you'd hear about these kinds of home remedies from your mom. These days, they're touted on websites, blogs, and online forums. In fact, 61% of American adults turn to the Internet to find help in treating what's ailing them, a 2009 study reveals. But do these natural moves actually work … and, just as important, could they do more harm than good? Health asked medical experts to weigh in on the Internet's most popular home cures.

The online claim: Yogurt can stop a yeast infection

Is it true? No

Yeast infections— and their symptoms, from intense vaginal itchiness to cottage cheese–like discharge—, are caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida. Because studies show that yogurt can promote the growth of healthier strains of bacteria in the stomach and intestines, people have long assumed it might also keep candida in check. And that rumor keeps circulating, thanks to the Internet.

Unfortunately, "no study shows conclusively that eating yogurt cures or even lessens the severity of yeast infections," says Michele G. Curtis, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Neither will douching with yogurt, or (yikes!) dipping a tampon in the stuff, freezing it, and inserting it—a remedy suggested on some websites. In fact, douching can cause yeast infections, Dr. Curtis says, especially if youre using yogurt; its sugars could actually help yeast grow.

If youre sure you have a yeast infection, based on a past experience, Dr. Curtis recommends using an over-the-counter medication, such as Monistat. But, she points out, "everything that itches is not yeast!" So see your gyno when in doubt: That itching might actually be bacterial vaginosis, for instance, which requires treatment with antibiotics.

The online claim: Black cohosh eases hot flashes

Is it true? Yes

Commonly known as bugwort or rattle root, this herb is derived from a plant called Actaea racemosa. While it may sound like something from Harry Potters wizarding world, this remedy is not all hocus-pocus: Some studies suggest that black cohosh may indeed reduce hot flashes, according to guidelines re-released last year by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. "It appears to have an anti-inflammatory effect," says Philip Hagen, MD, coeditor of Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies.

In fact, the herb is often prescribed in Europe; its a key ingredient in Remifemin, a popular drug there, which is also available in the United States. While U.S. studies haven't conclusively proven that black cohosh works, Dr. Curtis says it cant hurt to try the herb—just consult with your doctor about the dosage first, and stick with it for 12 weeks, she says. (Make sure you're getting black cohosh, not blue cohosh, which could potentially be harmful, she adds.)

The online claim: Pop calcium pills to quell PMS cramps

Is it true? Yes

Since theres scientific evidence that PMS sufferers have lower levels of calcium in their blood, its not a stretch to think that loading up on it would ease the cramps, headaches, and bloating that come at that time of the month. Indeed, research has shown that taking 600 milligrams of calcium twice a day can reduce PMS symptoms. And getting the nutrient in your food (such as calcium-packed dairy) may keep them at bay altogether: In a recent study conducted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, women who consumed four servings a day of skim or low-fat milk reduced their risk of developing PMS by 46%.

Note: Some women's cramps are so severe that only prescription medication can curb them, Dr. Curtis says. So if calcium doesn't make a difference with yours, see your doctor.

The online claim: Tea tree oil can zap your zits

Is it true? Maybe

One brand of tea tree oil sold online is dubbed "Pure Liquid Gold," and it just may be, at least in the case of acne. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that applying the extract to pimples reduced inflammation. "Tea tree oil is antifungal and antibacterial," says Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist. "Its so effective that many of my patients prefer it to benzoyl peroxide."

Other experts are not so keen. "The oil can cause rashes and even blistering," warns Jerome Z. Litt, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland and the author of Your Skin from A to Z. If you're nervous about using tea tree oil, Dr. Jaliman says, instead try a face wash for oily skin that contains salicylic or glycolic acid.

The online claim: Steam clears up sinus headaches

Is it true? Yes

This old-school treatment—touted in more than 400,000 Google results!—really works. "Inhaling steam flushes out your nasal passages, relieving sinus pressure," explains Neil Kao, MD, head of research at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, South Carolina.

Add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to make it more potent. "The minty smell causes a tingling sensation in the nasal membrane, and this has a decongestant effect," says Dr. Kao, who also suggests dabbing Vicks VapoRub at the lower rim of your nostrils. Another natural alternative: Using a neti pot to irrigate the nostrils with saline solution, which can also ease sinus symptoms, according to one study.

The online claim: Black tea bags help cold sores disappear

Is it true? No

If left alone, cold sores usually clear up in a few weeks—but who wants to wait? Online remedies for the blisters range from the absurd (like earwax) to the less silly, like placing a damp black tea bag on the sore. "Black tea leaves have tannins, compounds that may inhibit the growth of viruses and bacteria, but no studies have verified this," Dr. Hagen says. Tea bags may also have an anti-inflammatory effect, he says. But your best bet to shorten healing time is an OTC treatment like Abreva or a prescription med like Valtrex.

To prevent sores from popping up, stay out of the sun, and use a high-SPF sunscreen around your lips: "Sunlight can trigger cold sores if youre prone to them," Dr. Hagen says.

The online claim: Drinking cranberry juice prevents UTIs

Is it true? Yes

This popular home cure isn't just an old wives tale: Major medical institutions, including the National Institutes of Health, agree that drinking cranberry juice can be effective for treating urinary tract infections (UTIs). "The berries contain proanthocyanidins, which keep E. coli from attaching to the bladder wall and causing an infection," Dr. Hagen says.

If youre prone to UTIs, drink one to two glasses of cranberry juice daily to help prevent them. Doing so also works when you have symptoms—like a constant need to pee, or a burning sensation when you do—to speed recovery. (Theres also evidence that peeing immediately after sex can help prevent UTIs by flushing out bacteria.) Stick to juice that's at least 20% pure cranberry—or try supplements, taking up to six 400-milligram pills twice a day an hour before or two hours after a meal. If your symptoms don't end within 24 to 48 hours, see your physician—, especially if you have a fever or chills. "That points to something serious," Dr. Hagen says, "and means you should not be messing with a home remedy."

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5 Things Everyone Should Know About Brain Tumors

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Earlier this summer, retired U.S. soccer player Lauren Holiday was sailing through her first pregnancy when suddenly, she began experiencing painful headaches. An MRI revealed a tumor on the right side of the 28-year-old's brain near her orbital socket, the Times-Picayune reports. 

Fortunately, the two-time Olympic gold medalist's growth is benign, operable, and not a risk to Holiday's unborn daughter. She's scheduled to have the tumor removed about six weeks after her delivery.

Though Holiday has a positive prognosis, her story is still scary because she's young and otherwise healthy—elite-athlete-level healthy. But next time you get a piercing headache, don't jump to any conclusions. The ones brought on by brain tumors aren't aren't your average headaches, says John G. Golfinos, MD, chair of the department of neurosurgery and co-director of the Brain Tumor Center at NYU Langone Medical Center. They're persistent, and tend to be worse in the morning and improve throughout the day. “That’s because when people are lying flat, the pressure in the skull and brain goes up, and during the day some of the pressure starts to go away,” he explains. What's more, brain tumor headaches are often associated with nausea and vomiting.

More good news: brain tumors are pretty rare. You have just a 1% chance of developing a malignant brain tumor in your lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. 

Here, Dr. Golfinos reveals more facts to know about brain tumors: 

Not all brain tumors are cancerous

“There’s a whole spectrum and range of outcomes for brain tumors,” says Dr. Golfinos. As in Holiday’s case, some are benign, “which means they grow very slowly in the brain or just outside the brain,” he explains. Others are malignant, grow very quickly, and are incurable.

RELATED: Early Signs of Stroke You Need to Know—Even If You're Young

Even benign tumors can cause major issues

The reason brain tumors can be so risky is that the skull is a thick, confined space: “So anything that grows inside or just outside the brain can take up a lot of room and press on important parts of the brain, causing a lot of problems,” he says. “That’s why we say with brain tumors, it’s not just what type of tumor is it, but where is it.”

The problems can include loss of vision, difficulties with speech, issues understanding language, or weakness on one side of the body. Symptoms can be subtle in the beginning, especially if they're caused by a benign, slow-growing tumor, says Dr. Golfinos. But if you notice any of those changes, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

RELATED: 5 Times You Really, Seriously Need to Go to the ER

Brain tumors can’t escape your skull

Brain tumors are unique in that they can't spread to other organs, since they don't have the same access to the blood stream that tumors in other parts of the body do, says Dr. Golfinos. “The brain itself is a very privileged part of the body,” he notes. “It's good at keeping things out, but also good at keeping things in.”

Your phone won’t cause a tumor

You may have heard the myth that constantly talking on your cell causes cancer. According to Dr. Golfinos, you have nothing to worry about, since there's no good evidence to suggest this is true. The reality, he says, is that “[w]e really don’t understand what causes brain tumors.”

RELATED: 4 Health Rumors You Seriously Need to Stop Believing

You can't prevent tumors from developing

“Many people ask me if there’s anything they can do to avoid brain tumors,” says Dr. Golfinos. “And right now the answer to that is ‘no.’” That said, to play it safe, Dr. Golfinos recommends avoiding exposure to excess radiation whenever possible (by opting for an MRI over a CT scan for example), especially for anyone under the age of 18. 

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Women Feel Better About Their Bodies Than They Used To

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Though women are still more dissatisfied than men when it comes to their size, a new study reveals that women’s views of their bodies are softening over the years.

The study, presented Friday at the American Psychological Association’s 124th Annual Convention, researchers found that women’s feelings about how thin they are have improved significantly over time. Looking at data from more than 100,000 men and women over 31 years, they found that from 1981 to 2011, on average women’s dissatisfaction dropped 3.3 points.

Though the change may seem small, study author Bryan Karazsia, an associate professor of psychology at The College of Wooster, says that statistically the drop is “substantial.” The researchers also looked at data from over 23,800 men and women over 14 years who were asked about their satisfaction with their muscular build. Men were more likely than women to report feeling dissatisfied with their muscles and that trend remained stable over time.

“If you walk into a store and see mens mannequins, they are really large,” says Karazsia, speculating why the opinion has remained unchanged for men. “Men just don’t look like that.”

What might be responsible for women’s drop in body criticisms? The researchers don’t know for sure, but they have a few theories. One is that Americans in general are getting larger. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, and Karazsia says “because people are larger, people are seeing what’s around them and feel more normal and less concerned.”

It’s also possible that the depictions of women in media are changing. Karazsia cites the popularity of ads by Dove, a company known for soap and deodorant, which feature women of all different body sizes and races. “You are seeing more images in the media of body diversity,” says Karazsia. “As those ideals are shifting, I think people are becoming a little more critical of the extreme images they see and the media is embracing [the idea] that bodies of all shapes and sizes can still sell products.”

There is also a possibility that a new body ideal is replacing women’s desire to be thin. Though the researchers didn’t look at the trend specifically, Karazsia said colleagues wondered whether a trend toward being lean and toned rather than thin also had a role.

“I am optimistic that [this study] is good news,” says Karazsia. “I am a dad of young girls so when I saw these findings I thought it was hopeful.”

 

This article originally appeared on Time.com.

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This Is What Happens in Your Brain When You’re Hypnotized

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THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Skeptics view hypnosis as a little-understood parlor trick, but a new study reveals real changes occur in the brain when a person enters an hypnotic state.

Some parts of the brain relax during the trance while others become more active, said study senior author Dr. David Spiegel, associate chair of psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“I hope this study will demonstrate that hypnosis is a real neurobiological phenomenon that deserves attention,” Spiegel said. “We haven’t been using our brains as well as we can. It’s like an app on your iPhone you haven’t used before, and it gets your iPhone to do all these cool things you didn’t know it could do.”

Hypnosis was the first Western form of psychotherapy, but little is known about how it actually works, the authors say.

Hoping to learn more, Spiegel and his colleagues selected 57 people for this study out of a pool of 545 potential participants. Thirty-six of the 57 displayed a high level of hypnotic susceptibility, while the other 21 did not appear to be very hypnotizable.

Using MRI, researchers measured the subjects’ brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. Each was scanned while resting, when recalling a memory, and when exposed to a message intended to induce a hypnotic trance.

People highly susceptible to hypnosis experienced three distinct brain changes while hypnotized that weren’t present when they were out of the trance, the study reports. These changes weren’t detected in the brains of those with low hypnotic capability.

People in a trance experienced a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate, part of what’s called the brain’s salience network. “It helps us compare context and decide what is worth worrying about and what isn’t,” Spiegel said.

Hypnotized people also experienced an increase in connections between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula. The prefrontal cortex helps us plan and carry out tasks, while the insula helps the mind connect with the body.

“In hypnosis, we know you can alter things like gastric acid secretion, heart rate, blood pressure and skin conductance,” Spiegel said. “Your brain is very good at controlling what’s going on in your body, and the insula is one of the pathways that does that.”

Finally, people in hypnosis also have reduced connections between the task-oriented dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the brain’s default mode network, a region most active when a person is daydreaming rather than focusing on the outside world.

This decrease in connectivity likely represents a disconnect between someone’s actions and their awareness of their actions, Spiegel said. Such a disassociation allows the hypnotic subject to engage in activities suggested by a hypnotist without becoming self-conscious of the activity.

Taken together, these brain changes match well-known outward effects caused by hypnosis, Spiegel said.

A hypnotized person is intensely focused but not worried about what they’re doing. They are not worried about evaluating instructions, but are simply following those instructions, and they have a more direct connection between their minds and the physical function of their bodies, he noted.

“This is the first time that we’ve shown what’s going on in the brain when a person is hypnotized,” Spiegel said. “This is a natural and normal brain function. It’s a technique that has evolved to enable us to do the routine things routinely, and deeply engage in the things that matter to us.”

Based on this knowledge, doctors might be able to enhance hypnotic response in ways that better help treat medical conditions, he said. Already, hypnosis has been proven to help people quit smoking or cope with pain and stress, the authors noted.

This study provides “important evidence” that could help convince skeptical patients of hypnosis’ potential benefits, said Guy Montgomery, who specializes in integrative behavioral medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Dr. Alan Manevitz, a clinical psychiatrist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed.

“Hypnosis has been around for a long time, but people have looked upon it as quackery,” Manevitz said. “This demonstrates it’s a legitimate neurobiological phenomenon, by revealing the brain activity that underlies the hypnotic state.”

However, Montgomery added that it will take further research to make this specific knowledge directly useful in daily medicine.

“How would I use this information to enhance procedures for patients?” he said. “I don’t really know.”

The study appears July 28 in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

More information

For more on hypnosis, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

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